Second stimulus checks may not go out until September as relief talks drag on
A stalemate over the next coronavirus aid package could drag on for weeks, possibly into September
Americans eager for a second stimulus payment may have to wait until September to receive the cash, according to an IRS insider.
A stalemate over the next coronavirus aid package appears likely to drag on for weeks, possibly into September. White House officials and Democrat leaders indicated on Wednesday they were nowhere close to cutting a deal, despite weeks of closed-door discussions, with each side continuing to blame the other for the stalemate.
Although both political parties broadly support a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus payments for families still reeling from the virus-induced crisis, there are several key outstanding issues, including the price tag.
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Negotiators are trying to bridge the gulf between a $1 trillion aid package put forward by Senate Republicans at the end of July, and the roughly $3 trillion legislation passed by House Democrats in May. The Trump administration rejected an offer by Pelosi last week to meet in the middle on a $2 trillion price tag.
If Congress is unable to agree on a deal before Friday -- a seemingly impossible feat -- Americans likely won't receive another direct cash payment until September.
Chad Hooper, the national president of the Professional Managers Association, told CNBC that the IRS "is better positioned to issue a second check" than it was in April since the majority of infrastructure is already in place. Most payments could be sent out in August if negotiators strike an agreement by Friday, he said.
There are several bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate that would send another stimulus check to American families. Both the House-passed HEROES Act and the Senate-introduced HEALS Act include a second $1,200 payment for Americans, with the necessary qualifications nearly identical to the first stimulus check.
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In both proposals, individuals who earn a gross adjusted income of up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000 would receive the full $1,200 or $2,400 payments, respectively. For higher earners, the checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income and phased out entirely at $99,000 and $198,000.
However, the Democratic proposal would allow undocumented immigrants to receive the money, removing language that prohibited payments from going to anyone who filed taxes jointly with someone who used an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
Democrats would also increase the amount of money per child to $1,200 for up to three children, meaning that families could receive a maximum of $6,000 from the government.
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The Republican proposal would keep the $500 amount for dependents established in the CARES Act but would modify it so families with dependents over the age of 17 will be able to receive the extra cash.
Both chambers would have to pass one of these bills (or a new one) that Trump would then sign into law before individuals receive more government-funded cash.
It's unclear when negotiations on the next virus relief package will resume on Capitol Hill.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday called on Democrats to pass a skinny $1 trillion deal with measures the deeply divided parties can agree on.
"My view on negotiations is you agree on the things that you can agree on, half legislation that's good for the American public, and then come back for another bill," Mnuchin told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo.
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